PREVIEW TO LONDON SCOTTISH (A) 14.11.14
By Tom Innes
November 14 2014
Having played five Friday evening matches in two seasons since attaining Championship status, Jersey now face three consecutive Friday nights under lights. The first two are among the toughest away trips of the season, London Scottish and Worcester; and then it's the first-ever night match at St Peter, in the B&I against Plymouth Albion.
This week's trip to the Athletic Ground in Richmond sees the Islanders take on a side who have become an established force in the Championship two months into their fourth season at this level. The Exiles needed a last-day escape in 2012 but have subsequently finished eighth and fifth, and this season have set their sights on a play-off berth.
Top-four ambitions looked very attainable during the opening phase of league action, with four wins and a defeat at Bristol by 42-17, although the form curve dipped once the British & Irish Cup started, with three successive defeats against Pontypridd, Bristol (again) and Connacht. This was followed by a narrow 16-9 defeat to Moseley on a water-logged pitch at Billesley Common, a game that culminated in acrimony as the Scots failed to convert a late attacking line-out and scuffles broke out at the final whistle, prompting skipper Mark Bright and a small number of Exiles' players to leave the arena prior to the usual formalities of handshakes, the players' tunnel and three cheers.
Jersey won the first encounter between the sides back in October 2012, with tries from James Copsey and Guy Thompson underpinning a 20-17 win, but have since suffered three defeats, including the penultimate game of last season, a 17-25 reverse at St Peter on Easter Saturday which saw Jersey slip to the bottom of the Championship table prior to the final day escape at Bedford.
News from the Jersey Camp
STOP PRESS - Friday 0840
Illness to two players forced late changes to Jersey's squad for tonight's match against London Scottish.
Both fly-half Aaron Penberthy and winger Mark McCrea were unwell and did not travel with their team-mates on the 9.15am flight to Lond.............
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